If you’re looking for the hottest job market for biotech talent in the United States, look West – specifically, California. The Golden State is outpacing all other states for life sciences growth, according to a recent report released by the California Healthcare Institute and consultancy PwC.
The total of 119,795 workers in people employed by the biopharmaceutical and medical device industry in California make it far and away the biggest state for life sciences jobs. California, home to numerous small biotech companies as well as large companies such as Amgen and Genentech, added 5,015 jobs in the state from 2009 to 2013 representing 4 percent job growth, the report says.
Meanwhile, other states that have traditionally been strong in the life sciences lost jobs over that same four year period. New Jersey, the second largest state for life sciences jobs with 41,089 employees in the sector, lost 8,371 jobs representing a 17 percent decline in industry jobs. New York, the third-largest life sciences state with 38,883 industry workers, lost 1,827 jobs for a 4 percent decline.
The report also showed some other states are emerging as areas for life sciences job growth. Utah’s 16,605 life sciences employees ranks the state just 14th on the report’s list. But on a percentage basis, the 2,594 jobs that Utah added between 2009 and 2013 represented 19 percent growth—tops among all of the states cited in the CHI and PwC research. Other gainers in life science jobs include North Carolina, Michigan, and Ohio.
The nonprofit California Healthcare Institute counts more than 2,600 companies in California that generate $101 billion in total annual revenue. The companies pay $27.4 billion in total wages and employees earn an average salary of $101,540.
California is also drawing dollars directed at research and development activity. Scientists in the state received $3.3 billion in National Institutes of Health research grants in the federal 2014 fiscal year. Meanwhile, life science startups in California are also attracting attention. The CHI projects that venture capital investments in California companies this year will reach $3.8 billion.